Deaths in the World of Golf in 2008

Deaths in the World of Golf in 2008

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William C. Battle
A textile executive who was awarded the
Silver Star while serving in the U.S. Navy during
World War II, Battle
was president of the
USGA in 1988 and ’89.
At 87, on May 31.

Tommy Bolt
Famous for his violent
on-course tantrums,
Bolt won 15 Tour
events, including the
1958 U.S. Open. He
was inducted into
the World Golf Hall of
Fame in 2002.
At 92,
on Aug. 30.

William Clarke
A career club pro from Phoenix, Md., Clarke
chaired the PGA of America’s rules committee
from 1966
until ’71 and was
president of the
PGA in ’73 and
At 85, on
Sept. 22.

Dai Davies
After covering
golf for the Birmingham Post in
England from 1965 to ’82, Davies moved to
The Guardian, where he worked until 2004.
His wife, Patricia, is also a noted golf writer.
At 69, on May 19.

Steve Duplantis
A PGA Tour caddie, his bosses
included Tommy Armour III, Eric
Axley, Rich Beem and Jim Furyk.
Duplantis’s wild lifestyle was
chronicled in the best-selling
2001 book Bud, Sweat and Tees.
At 35, on Jan. 23.

Phil Harison
A native of Augusta and an insurance
executive, Harison was a
member of Augusta
and served as the 1st-tee starter
at the Masters for 60 years. He
was one of two people to have attended every
Masters since the tournament’s inception in
At 82, on April 27.

Jeff Jones
A popular caddie and personality for 25 years on
the LPGA tour, Jones was nicknamed Shadow
because of his quiet on- and off-course demeanor.

At 44, on Sept. 4.

Siles Mitchell
A career mini-tour player, Mitchell spent six
years on the Nationwide circuit, where he won
once and led the tour in driving distance twice
(1998 and ’99).
At 42, on July 19.

Orville Moody
Known as Sarge because he served 14 years
in the U.S. Army — most of that time overseeing
military golf courses — Moody
had only
one Tour victory, the 1969 U.S. Open, but as a
he triumphed 11 times, including at the
’89 U.S. Senior Open.
At 74, on Aug. 8.

Torakichi Nakamura
His victories in the individual and team (with
partner Koichi Ono)
portions of the 1957
Canada Cup — the
forerunner of the
World Cup — in Tokyo
helped ignite a golf
boom in Japan.
92, on Feb. 11.

Dick Rhyan
Rhyan earned more
than $1.5 million but
never won a tournament
despite making
169 PGA Tour and 277 Champions tour starts. At
the 1988 Showdown Classic in Park City, Utah, he
became the first Champions tour player to make
an eagle and a double eagle in the same round.
At 73, on Jan. 16.

Ted Robinson
A past president of the American Society of
Golf Course Architects, he designed more than
160 courses, including Sahalee Country Club in
Redmond, Wash., site of the 1998 PGA Championship.
At 84, on March 2.

Allard Roen
A partner in the group that in the 1960s developed
La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad, Calif.,
Roen was the general chairman of the PGA Tour’s
Tournament of
Champions for
38 years, starting
in the ’50s.
At 87, on Aug. 28.

Robert Sommers
The driving force
behind all USGA
including Golf Journal magazine,
from 1966
to ’91, Sommers
wrote numerous books, among them The
U.S. Open: Golf’s Ultimate Challenge.
At 81, on July 26.

Mike Souchak
A winner of 15 PGA Tour
events who also played in
two Ryder Cups, Souchak
was best known for setting
the Tour’s 72-hole
scoring record at the
1955 Texas Open. His
27-under 257 included
a record-tying 18-hole
score of 60, shot in the
first round. The 72-hole
mark stood until 2001,
when Mark Calcavecchia shot a 256 at the Phoenix
At 81, on July 10.

Abraham Woods
A civil rights activist and
Baptist minister who led the
first lunch-counter sit-ins in
the 1960s in Birmingham,
Woods spearheaded protests
around the 1990 PGA
Championship at Shoal Creek Country Club in
reaction to the club’s whites-only membership
policies. The protests led to sweeping changes
that saw golf clubs around the world, including
Shoal Creek, abolish discriminatory practices.
At 80, on Nov. 7.